Errors in eBooks?

Have you ever wondered why every eBook you download from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords or any of the other eBook publishers has typos, missing words, misspelled words, sometimes just weird wording?

Let me give you an example of how I write. First, let me say that I am not a “Wham, Bam, Novelist” who turns out a book in eight weeks. Those books are very popular (and make the authors wealthy) because they are all dialog, they have virtually no character development, and they are written on the vocabulary and easy reading level of a fourteen year old.

It takes me about a year to complete a 250 page novel. It works like this: The first draft. Ernest Hemingway, a fairly good author you’ll agree said, (and this is a direct quote) “A first draft is shit.” So I skim the first draft, rewrite, read it, rewrite and expand, read it, rewrite again to add readability, read it, rewrite for touch-ups and to correlate early events to final events, read it, and rewrite again. This process has taken about eight months of daily work. Then I send what I believe to be the final draft to my editor Grace Davis who is a professional editor who reads it and corrects missed typos and punctuation. When Grace sends it back with corrections I do a final read (by that time I am sick of it!) and then and only then do I upload it to ePublishers.

The ePublisher’s site will take it, grind away for a few minutes and give back a dialog box that says, “Published, with errors.” How can that be? And when someone buys the book it will have some errors. You may have downloaded an eBook of some printed book that you possess and you will find errors that you KNOW are not in that book on your bookshelf. That’s because in the “Golden days of Publishing” real live editors read and edited every manuscript many times before it hit the presses. Those days are gone forever.

ePublishing companies use software to strip away any formatting even though you followed their instructions to the letter to AVOID any formatting. They do that because their customer’s eReaders do not use any formatting thereby allowing the reader to change font styles, sizes, etc. to their liking.

Software works very fast. It also, like anything created by man, has errors in it. The combination of speed and economy of readying a manuscript for downloading invariably creates errors in the final product, no matter how scrupulously the author has proofed his or her work.

So don’t be too hard on the author when typos show up on your Kindle or NOOK. In most cases, the author has worked hard to give you an accurate and error-free (and, hopefully!) interesting and fascinating read. Modern life is what it is, and unfortunately nothing is perfect.

About johnbeckmanbooks

John Beckman, a retired meteorologist, was known as “Johnny the Weatherman” in a career that spanned forty years. He forecasted the weather on WSJS-TV in Winston-Salem, NC, at WFGA-TV in Jacksonville, FL, and for thirty-three years in Atlanta at WSB-TV and WXIA-TV. Also a well published author Beckman now devotes full time to writing fiction. He currently has several eBooks on Amazon.com, "Tropical Knights," first in a series of adventure/mysteries about a sailor and his lovely CIA cohort on a mission to save America. Now available the sequel, and second in the series: "Tropical Daze." The third Jack & Amy adventure is "Tropical Rage" which became available on 30 April 2014. All of his books are highlighted on http://johnbeckmanbooks.com and available from Amazon.com. . .
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